Review: Durt Dog The Band – “Weight”

Artist: Durt Dog The Band
Release: 2012

Comments: Durt Dog The Band makes a home in Lowell, a fine city in the Merrimack Valley (in north/eastern Massachusetts) that has living in it various talented young and veteran musicians and artisans. I’ve had the opportunity to make it out to a few shows in Lowell; KLYAM’s other half, Chris, has essentially called the City home for the past four years, all while soaking in several, all memorable Lowell based musical performances at a variety of locales. And while there isn’t a “Lowell sound” that audibly unites its performers, there is definitely a sizable body of individuals who enjoy the shared experience of eccentric, varied, and underground (often literally) entertainment.

Durt Dog The Band on Weight epitomizes a nostalgia that to me is specific to Lowell. A soundtrack to a place that is mysterious, but oddly familiar. That is the feeling I get on Durt Dog’s acoustic compositions. The strumming, the melodies, and the apparent minimalism on Weight are not very far away from the eclectic musings of accomplished acoustic guitar lovers like Christopher Owens or similarly light Walkmen and Tapes ‘n Tapes offerings a la mid-2000s. But let us not get weighed down on such big name comparisons… Durt Dog The Band finds a way to tinker with quite a few styles, production values, and song structures. Weight, nevertheless, sounds delightfully consistent from the beginning. “Things I Do Care About” never strays from its poppy beginning melody, only building upon it with increasingly pleasant additions such as drums, a layered guitar lead/solo, and some choice vocals/ear panning (starting as the line “Adjust what my voice sounded like” is sung). This is playful material. The instrumental tracks on here, while perhaps not as immediately intriguing as the other songs, are delicate pieces, fragile as blown glass art and just as colorful, and not unnecessarily intricate.

Such a knack for relaxed and friendly sounds carry on the next two tracks. “Ashes” affects itself as equally stream-of-conscious as personal and random. It ends (to my surprise) with the second verse repeated, its dream inducing imagery, and its second-to-last-word stresses. This would be my favorite track on the album, if it wasn’t for “Rat Traps”. This prolific, triumphant tune is comprised of a ton of layers – vocals and guitars making up most of them, but there’s also some percussion, and let me not forget – Weight’s most prominent display of hefty bass work. AND those last two lines, sung in unison. The album’s chin rubbing realization: “There’s nothin’ that pirates can’t do /You will never kill piracy and piracy will never kill you.” Rat traps, I see. I hear. Weight is peculiar and psychedelic, alert, not spry. Not once boring. It’s the most interesting album I’ve heard of its kind.

You can listen to Weight on Bandcamp: [LINK]


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